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Durham officer charged with DWI fired

Posted December 3, 2010

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— The Durham Police Department on Friday fired an officer who was charged with drunken driving Thursday after having a wreck while on duty.

Officer Kevin A. Stewart, 24, is charged with driving while impaired and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The crash happened at 9:10 a.m. Thursday as Stewart was driving his marked patrol vehicle north on Fayetteville Street near Timothy Street. He rear-ended a 1999 Ford driven by Jose Carlos Martin-Vegas, of Durham, who had slowed for a traffic light, police said.

Stewart told investigators that Martin-Vegas stopped suddenly as the traffic light turned yellow and that he tried to avoid a collision but was unsuccessful.

Stewart was treated for minor injuries at Duke University Hospital. Martin-Vegas wasn't injured.

After the wreck, Stewart was taken for mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Under a city policy, the driver of any city vehicle involved in a crash must be tested within two hours.

The results of Stewart's blood sample were turned over to the state crime lab for analysis, and his blood-alcohol content hasn't been determined yet.

According to the DWI citation, "(Stewart) had an odor of alcohol about his person and about his breath. His eyes were slighting glassy and blood shot ... He made the statement that he had consumed an alcoholic beverage within the last 12 hours."

The police department had placed him on administrative leave before his dismissal.

Stewart joined the department in January 2009 and had been assigned to the patrol bureau.

37 Comments

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  • KwaziMojo Dec 3, 2010

    rwest - your logic is as garbled as your English.

  • anonemoose Dec 3, 2010

    How could this guy come in and do roll call and then work without ANYBODY picking up on his impairment????

  • rwest5 Dec 3, 2010

    This young man may have made a mistake but it don't make him any less of a person. He probably will loose his certification because of the charge. The amazing thing is that because he is with Durham police department this story is in the bottom left hand corner. Now if he had been with the Highway Patrol it would have been the first story you seen. Nobody likes the cops till they need them. People always complain about LEO's then when they need them they cry for them. Make up your mind and either support your local and state law enforcment or don't. But don't complain when they don't come when you need them!!

  • quaten Dec 3, 2010

    1999 Ford ( that's an eleven year old Ford ). Did anyone check the brake lights?

  • Diabolical Dec 3, 2010

    I'm curious if his officer buddies were also complicit in his 12 hour hangover. If he went out partying, with his other officers did they contribute to him getting so blitzed that he would have a real bad hangover the next morning, and if so, shouldn't they be accountable as well. I mean he drank it and yes, he's at fault. But, he's still young and culpable to impress colleagues. But, he also should of known not to get behind the wheel and to call in sick. Not condoning his actions. But, we don't know where he went the night before and we don't know the facts around that night that lead to his disastrous day.

  • CrewMax Dec 3, 2010

    Will he quit drawing pay?

  • TheDude abides... Dec 3, 2010

    "i'm sure it was just morning after hangover. i feel sorry for the dude"

    Well, my buddy got a DUI the morning after a party. Did the cops feel sorry for him? No, as they shouldnt.

    All you folks saying to "give this guy a break" are pathetic. SHOULD LEOS GIVE PEOPLE A BREAK?

    I think if a cop breaks a the law BECAUSE THEY ARE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD then I think there should be an extra penalty. Kinda like the way "hate crimes" work.

    I bet that would make em think.

    I guess we all need to remember that it usually isnt the smartest kids that end up cops...or the most innocent.

  • imdicktrickle Dec 3, 2010

    Otis. Wow! How sad is that. His first three supervisors should be fired for lack of leadership. Who was watching the store? Incredible.

  • mike honcho Dec 3, 2010

    There is a manditory breath and urine test given, however the the breath results may not be used at trial. They may however be used for departmental disaplinary actions, thus the firing.
    He will never work as a Durham officer again, even if Al Sharpton shows up. Good people make stupid mistakes, he made a real stupid mistake that gives the DPD a black eye for quite some time.

  • The2ruthHurts Dec 3, 2010

    you dont seem to be able to connect the dots, this officer and his department were so corrupt that this officer had to get himself intoxicated just to do his work most likely due to that little voice in his head saying "why am I doing this, I'm supposed to be one of the good guys, I'm worse than the criminals"

    How many dots are you talking about since I am not seeing any in your comment.

    "why am I doing this, I'm supposed to be one of the good guys, I'm worse than the criminals"

    Since when can you read minds? Or is it the little voice in your head telling you to write this. If you are going contribute to this thread please give us some useful insight rather than your personal opinions.

    Another thing, corrupt cop and corrupt organization...and some say cops are the ones with a chip on their shoulder.

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